Marketing

A Magnificent Prediction for 2019: 56 Experts Share Insights for Marketing This Year

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We’re sure your newsfeed is clogged with everyone’s predictions for the 2019 marketing year. So before you continue scrolling, hear us out on why you should take a look at our list.

We’ve been running our mouths about content marketing for the last few years and while we may think we have all the answers, truth is, content marketing has truly picked up steam in the last few months. And it’s continuing to be the #1 topic for marketing strategies heading into the new year.

We chatted with 55 marketing experts on what they expect to see on the horizon for content marketing. Here’s to learning and growing from each other in 2019!

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Ann Handley

Digital marketing & content expert, Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Keynote speaker, Writer

annhandley.com
Ann’s LinkedIn

Organizers will treat their email newsletter programs like the rare and precious creatures they are, in need of regular love and attention.

"Hold up," you're thinking. "EMAIL? Is this 1999 or 2019? Isn't this the age of AI and Facebook Live and video?"

Here's why I believe in the power of email newsletters even more strongly today, as we head into 2019:

1) An email newsletter is the only place where individuals—not algorithms—are in control. So what if marketing leaned into that inherently personal space?

2) Most companies today use their email newsletter as a distribution strategy. What if we focused not on the news but on the letter?

In January I re-launched my personal newsletter as a way to converse directly to my audience. It’s taught me a lot about what works and what doesn’t in content and in marketing. Because I think the best email newsletters are also a kind of proxy for the best marketing in 2019, period.


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Ted Rubin

Co-Founder Prevailing Path and MC/Host, The Rubin Organization

Tedrubin.com
Ted’s Twitter

So I am not so much about predictions as I am about what should be happening. 2019, if brands are hoping to stay relevant and keep up with the content creation phenomenon, needs to be the year of Empowering Employees to Power your Brand.

It’s plain and simple—employee censorship on social channels is a disaster for brands. We can no longer control the message folks. The social framework is “bigger and stronger” than our puny frameworks. Instead of fighting it every step of the way, USE it to your advantage, or you’ll pay a steep price in diminished return. Your employees are the best way to humanize and personalize your brand... and truly the best way to scale relevant, contextual content creation

Did you know that employee created content (ECC) receives eight times more engagement than content shared from the company itself? On top of that, employee content extends brand messaging by over 500%. Crazy, right? So why aren’t more companies getting employees engaged in content creation? It’s well known that companies with engaged employees outperform their peers; involving employees in content creation can help to create a sense of common purpose.

The truth of the matter is that the social evolution is a business evolution. Only by changing our old frameworks can we possibly hope to succeed—because social has completely altered the business landscape. #ROE... Return on Employees.


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Andy Crestodina

Co-founder / CMO, Orbit Media Studios

Orbitmedia.com
Andy’s LinkedIn

"Original research is the most effective type of content" ...I heard this over and over again in 2018. So I expect we'll see a lot more research-based content in 2019. Look for a spike in studies and surveys and a lot of statistics in headlines.

And it works. Few bloggers publish original research, but those who do are much more likely to report strong results.

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It's a good thing for content programs, but there's a risk that it will erode trust in our audiences unless the studies have rigorous methodologies and significantly big datasets. If research is weak and overused in 2019, we might see "Research is dead" headlines a year from now.


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Gini Dietrich

Queen Bee, Spin Sucks

Spinsucks.com
Gini’s LinkedIn

My prediction is Dave will exceed all of his goals—and all of his crazy ideas will come to fruition and be plentiful and successful.

No?

So many predictions. So little time! Chatbots are going to increase in popularity. So is voice search. So is artificial intelligence. So is predictive analytics and how marketers will use it for content marketing and editorial calendar planning. I personally am going to begin to use the data in our CRM to build internal training modules using IBM Watson. So not necessarily a trend, but how to use artificial intelligence in use.


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Stephanie Stahl

General Manager, Content Marketing Institute

Contentmarketinginstitute.com
Stephanie’s LinkedIn

Our heads will still be spinning by the vast amounts of content produced on a daily basis by brands, media companies, agencies, and individuals. But we'll see a determined effort by smart marketers to figure out a cadence that's realistic and effective. We'll see (and celebrate) content that is creative, human, educational and entertaining whether it's a blog, a print article, a piece of branded content, an infographic, a video, a podcast, or whatever format is used to tell a compelling story that convinces people to stop and pay attention.


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Marcus Sheridan

Owner, Marcus Sheridan International/IMPACT

Marcussheridan.com
Marcus’s LinkedIn

In 2019, more and more companies will realize that, whether we like it or not, we're all media companies. In other words, these companies will accept the undeniable influence that video is having on the B2B and B2C sales, marketing, and customer service process-- and the fact that if they don't start to do something about it (show, not just tell), they'll be left behind by their competitors. Furthermore, more and more companies will hire in-house videographers as a full-time position, due to the fact that in order to truly create a "culture" of video within an organization, you must become, for the most part, self reliant.


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Michael Brenner

Speaker, Author, Consultant, CMO, Marketing Insider Group

Marketinginsidergroup.com
Michael’s LinkedIn

There are 2 major trends in the marketing industry I think everyone will be talking about in 2019.

  1. The first is AI. We will begin to realize the opportunity of an AI-driven content marketing strategy. If 60-70% of the content we create goes unused, AI will begin to force us to reconsider what we create and why.

  2. Second is employee activation. AI will tell us what to create, but our best storytellers are our existing employees from across the business. Every company needs a strategy to activate these employees as both creators and as the most effective distribution channel to share that content.

    This is the paradox of AI. The more the robots tell us what to do, the more we will need our internal experts to create and share that content.


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Jon Burkhart

Founder/Chief Creative Officer, TBC Global

Tbcglobal.live
Jon’s LinkedIn

I am dead-sick of spam and have been a card-carrying inbox filth fighter for years now. Brands, it’s 2019 now and you’ve got storehouses of data on me. There’s no reason brands in 2019 shouldn’t get their personalised video game on in a big way. I want my favourite brands MOO (I print my workshop game cards out using their infinity print feature), Topps (my boy & I are obsessed with Premier League soccer trading cards) and Go-Ped (I’ve been driving a kick-scooter for 7 years - eat that Bird & Lime) to give me a big fat sloppy kiss in 2019. I want that kiss to be personalised, authentic video that makes me feel frickin loved - even cuddled. I see video getting way up into the grills of folk in super-personal but not freaky/intrusive ways in 2019. I myself and upping my personalised video game so turn your spam filters up or down depending on your feelings toward me.


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Julia McCoy

CEO, Express Writers

Expresswriters.com
Julia’s LinkedIn

My first prediction for 2019? The overly sales-y marketing "funnel" (or “sales funnel”) will become obsolete. Yes, I said it. Why? It doesn’t describe the way marketing should work anymore. We are content marketers. We’re not looking to grab the attention of people who aren’t in our audience, and we don’t want to dump people at the end of a funnel. We want to take a more nurturing stance that encourages people to stay in our circle: join our community of readers, buyers, and evangelists. I think it’s time to replace the sales funnel with a marketing flowchart and lifecycle representation.

My second prediction is that trust-based content is going to be the Content Leader (King, Queen, you-name-it) in 2019. I think we’re going to see more authenticity from the brands that rise to the forefront of their industries. The true story of the founder, from failures to successes: transparency in the executive team, real-life anecdotes from customers and employees on the company blogs - those will win buyer trust in the content calendar for 2019. Today and tomorrow’s winning content is about human connection. And how better to bridge that gap than through telling real stories? Focus on your real-life successes and failures, and tell those to your human audience.


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Dennis Yu

CEO, BlitzMetrics

Dennis-yu.com
Dennis’s LinkedIn

Facebook ads get prohibitively expensive for most businesses, as there is increasing demand against an inventory base that isn't growing. We've seen the base cost of traffic nearly double each year-- now being close to $8 per thousand impressions, regardless of whether they are bidding for leads, ROAS, video views, or whatever.

The antidote is 15 and 60 second vertical videos (to look like what a friend would post, not an "advertisement" a business would run) and running chatbots (like MobileMonkey, where we can promote within a consumer's inbox, which marketers haven't ruined yet).


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Bernie Borges

CMO, Vengreso

Vengreso.com
Bernie’s LinkedIn

The pressure on B2B marketers to prove ROI has never been more intense. The average CMO has an average tenure of 44 months, fueling the pressure to deliver results quickly.

B2B marketers who demonstrate accountability for revenue contribution in 2019 will stand a better chance of not just surviving but thriving. I see three strategies that can support the modern CMO’s “drive to the number.”

  1. Acceleration of sales video by teaching sales teams how to create short videos and empowering them with tools that make it easy and measurable on sales cycles.

  2. Optimizing sales rep’s LinkedIn profiles to function as mini websites that are written through the lens of the buyer, are on-brand and deliver extended reach for the brand.

  3. Deployment of personalized microsites with relevant content for account expansion used in account based marketing strategies.

    These three strategies can directly impact the marketing executive’s ability to partner with the head of sales (and the entire C-Suite) on the “path to the number.”

    The marketing executive who measurably contributes to revenue is the one who will thrive in 2019 and beyond.


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Allen Gannett

Chief Strategy Officer, Skyword

Skyword.com
Allen’s LinkedIn

2019 will be the year creativity moves from soft skill to hard skill.

Marketers who become intentional about their creativity will have a huge advantage in 2019 as consumers start to expect more and more from brands—both in terms of value and voice. I think there will be an inherent push for teams to stretch out of their comfort zone to tackle potentially uncharted waters and keep pace with the changing social media landscape.

With social media Stories growing 15x faster than feeds and more American adults now receiving news results from social media over newspapers, it’s no secret that there’s been a fundamental shift in the way consumers are digesting news and entertainment content.

As people continue to change the way they consume content, it will open up the door for brands to become full-time publishers to win over social media audiences. Companies that not only recognize this shift, but also respond to it by creating and distributing content that addresses the informational and entertainment needs of consumers, will tap into the 970 million accounts using Stories and twenty percent of Adults using social media as their source of news (compared to just 16 percent who read newspapers).

In 2019, we’ll see a brand become a top publisher of both newsworthy and entertaining content. Companies will start to emerge as leading sources of news and valuable information while simultaneously providing engaging and compelling figures. We’ll get a clear picture of what a successful brand publisher looks like: marketing leaders who were willing to pivot as the market changed.


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Shane Barker

Digital Strategist, Shane Barker Consulting

Shanebarker.com
Shane’s LinkedIn

Marketing Predictions for 2019 and Beyond
The fast-paced digital marketing industry is evolving constantly to drive better results. This will lead to a significant decline in the use of traditional advertising in the coming years.

I believe that smart technologies such as big data, virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence will create many new opportunities in the digital space.

Brands and marketers will leverage these technologies to grow their businesses with highly targeted content marketing. They will also get more creative with content formats such as

  • videos

  • 3600

  • VR

  • AR

  • ebooks

  • influencer-created content

    The demand of consumers for personalization is also likely to increase further. Brands and marketers will have to deliver more personalized customer experiences based on their preferences, styles, and buying behaviors.


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Robert Rose

Co-Founder, Content Marketing Institute

Contentmarketinginstitute.com
Robert’s LinkedIn

I see three primary trends in 2019.

  1. The first is the continued rise of Artificial Intelligence within the technology stack. The push will be for marketers to jump right on the speeding AI and automation bandwagon – and much like personalization and bots, it is a topic that most marketers would be better off waiting on.

  2. The second – and more pressing trend - will be the need for scale of content operations. Businesses will finally take owned media seriously enough to build a strategic operation around it.

  3. And, related to this is the third, which is the continued rise of the importance of content marketing and first party data in the new era of GDPR and other privacy laws and regulations. All in all - content (and specifically building audiences) continues to be an extraordinarily important part of the new marketer's mix.


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Margaret Magnarelli

VP, Marketing, Monster

Monster.com
Margaret’s LinkedIn

As someone who came into marketing via content marketing, I’m fascinated by how that discipline is changing. In the bubble times, companies bought in big, but more recently, we’ve been in what Gartner would call the “trough of disillusionment.” And over the last year, we’ve seen a shift in the way most of the vendors in the space talk about their universe of potential customers—the language is increasingly going from “content marketing” to “integrated marketing.” I think that’s good news as we develop a sustainable role for content. But it also means that content marketers will need to develop more interdisciplinary if they aim to rise within an organization.

Speaking of integration, I expect to see that become a key overall theme of 2019—integration of data, integration of tools, and integration of functions. (I’m thinking of printing bumper stickers that say “Silos are for cows, not marketers.”) Especially if the economy stutters, companies will be taking a hard look at optimizing and getting rid of overlaps. That sounds negative, but I think it will improve productivity. And personally I’m excited about a return to “technoprudence.” I think it’ll help us all approach our work with increased humanity.


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Peter Loibl

President & Chief Strategy Officer, Concured

Concured.com
Peter’s LinkedIn

Marketers will escalate their use of Artificial Intelligence to power their Content Strategy and Analysis, and AI-powered CSPs (Content Strategy Platforms) will continue to become as integral to marketing stacks as Marketing Automation Systems were once they broke onto the scene more than a decade ago.

Performance and relevancy guesswork and time-draining content audits will continue to be replaced by data-centric, realtime AI-powered CSPs that are already revolutionizing our industry.


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Matt Heinz

President, Heinz Marketing Inc.

Heinzmarketing.com
Matt’s LinkedIn

Marketing will further evolve their reporting to differentiate operational metrics from impact metrics. The highest-level marketing metrics should focus on revenue impact marketing is having on the business. If you're showing your executive team a report focused on open rates and lead volume, they'll assume you care more about activity than outcomes!


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Christoph Trappe

Chief content engagement director, Stamats Business Media

Christophtrappe.com
Christoph’s LinkedIn

More will use VR storytelling. Virtual reality is really an underused tool and partially that is because not all consumers have the headset. But given that you can watch virtual reality videos as 360 versions on a phone or app, and not very many events are using them yet, it’s the perfect time to jump right in and make this strategy a big differentiation for your company.


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Bill Widmer

Content Marketing & SEO Consultant

Billwidmer.com
Bill’s LinkedIn

I recently published a full article for Sumo on 2019 marketing predictions. Here is the big one that I'll be putting 90% of my attention on:

Content for Google

Content marketing is nothing new - it's been around since magazines and direct mail. SEO is nothing new - it's been around since Google launched in the late 90's. So why is this a "marketing trend" in 2019?

Because, frankly, most people really suck at creating content.

They do a shotgun approach, writing content for the sake of having content, not knowing what's performing and what isn't. They target keywords using free keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, not really knowing how to optimize for it or if it's even the best keyword.

This approach is a complete waste of time and money.

I would rather write one article per month that's based on deep keyword research and an understanding of WHY people search that keyword and WHAT they're looking for - including <b>the things people don't even know they're looking for when they first start their search.</b>

For example, if someone searches for "best surfboard", they might not have any idea what makes a surfboard good or bad, or even how to surf. They might just be looking to grab one of the best boards. If they knew what made a board great, they probably wouldn't be searching that term in the first place.

So in your content, you should tell them what the best surfboards are, based on research and use, etc. But you should also have a section that explains WHY they are the best, what to look for in a surfboard, how to get started surfing, etc.

To give you a real-world example, here's an article I wrote on the best RV air conditioners. In this article, I reveal the very best at the top, then dive into what to consider when buying an AC (size, shape, BTUs, etc.), I answer the question of if you even need a new AC by showing you how to troubleshoot your current one if it's not working, and I answer a bunch of FAQs like "Can I heat my RV with the air conditioning unit as well?". This depth helped me rank on page 1 for "RV air conditioner".

To help you figure out what people are searching for when they type in a keyword, study the current search results for that keyword. See what they talk about, what questions they answer, etc. Go on YouTube and find videos on the topic, then look at what questions people ask in the comments. Use AnswerThePublic to find all the common questions around a keyword. Use LSIgraph to find the related and semantic keywords to your main keyword.

Then incorporate all your research in your article. Make it the go-to article on a given topic. The very best on the internet. Then, and only then, will you destroy the competition, rank #1, and get all the traffic and sales from Google.


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John DeMato

Owner, DeMato Productions

Johndemato.com
The future of marketing will continue to shift away from transactional to relationship-based because people are tired of being sold to - they want to be nurtured and offered value every step of the way.


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Michael Becker

Digital Content Manager, Emarsys

Emarsys.com
Michael’s LinkedIn

More companies will develop owned, branded publications to attract audiences. Though this avenue will remain one aspect of an integrated marketing approach, it will emerge as the most valuable if committed to fully.

Brands or entrepreneurs who treat content as a product and invest substantially in that product – as much as any other function in the business – WILL find success.

Investing in a content-first approach means prioritizing long-term audience building over lead gen. For those who stick it out AND "do it right" (by differentiating their content and avoiding the lure of infusing salesy, product messaging), great gains will be seen. For these brands, quality content will be the means to meaning, cultivating an audience who can offer value from a multitude of angles – accurate data, subscriber feedback and preferences, buying of premium content, and inspiring merchandise spin-offs. For these companies, content will change lives; and will turn a profit in-and-of-itself.


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Liston Witherill

Owner, LWC

Liston.io
Liston’s LinkedIn

2019 will see the continued growth of audio as a medium that rapidly expands, making podcasting more mainstream and audio search a major consideration in all marketing programs. Content will continue to dominate customer acquisition - on social, through search, with email programs, etc. - but it'll be harder than ever to grow your audience.

Watch for social media channels to ratchet up advertising expenses and de-prioritize organic traffic. Their problems with poor quality content are pushing the networks to drive up advertising costs and de-prioritize organic content. So much for Internet as the great democratizing force, huh?


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Hailey Friedman

Co-Founder, Growth Marketing Pro

Growthmarketingpro.com
Hailey’s LinkedIn

2019 will be the year marketers get control of their data. Over the past 10 years, the marketing technology landscape has vastly expanded, meaning there are endless ways to reach our customers. This is great. However, it also means our data is lives in silos across each of these platforms. Bringing the data together has been a tedious and manual process for all of us in order to get a comprehensive view of our marketing performance. In 2019, marketers will finally put their foot down and automate this process.

I predict that having an automated system to aggregate all your marketing data will become the new standard, and anyone wasting employee time on this task will be left behind in the dust. Tools like Improvado are already helping marketers eliminate 90% of the time spent building manual reports and marketing dashboards.


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Zontee Hou

Co-Lead of Consulting, Convince & Convert

Zonteehou.com
Zontee’s LinkedIn

2019 will be characterized by contextual and conversational marketing. As consumers have more and more information at their fingertips year by year, they’re also more overwhelmed by choice. At the same time, businesses like Google, Amazon, and Facebook are consistently refining their personalized experiences through algorithms and question-driven tools. What this means for companies of all shapes and sizes is that they must implement marketing practices that allow them to reach audiences of one—conversational marketing—through chatbots, filtering mechanisms on websites, and automation-driven emails in order to resonate with audiences.


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Doug Kessler

Co-founder, Creative Director, Velocity

Velocitypartners.com
Doug’s Twitter

In B2B, where we ply our trade, we're seeing right-brain marketing starting to meet left-brain marketing.

The people who get brand and story and positioning are starting to make common cause with those who get demand gen, pipelines and data.

For the last few years, our clients have had separate silos for these things. More and more, we're working with companies that understand how they work together.

This is where B2B marketing is headed and where it needs to head: brand, strategy, content, digital and marketing performance all working together around a single, galvanizing idea. With the plumbing in place to integrate the whole stack and the data to prove it's working.

It's all about accountability. Shout "Hallelujah!" (Or, if you're in an open plan office, think it).


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Ryan Dohrn

Founder, Sales Training World

SalesTrainingWorld.com
Ryan’s LinkedIn

Conversations around automation and AI in marketing and sales will increase exponentially. Data-driven marketing teams and sales teams using AI are outpacing their competitors. Companies that do not have a data-driven marketing and sales plan will be left behind. But, be warned, there are automation and AI experts and software popping up everywhere. Do your due diligence and ask detailed questions. Create a strategy and monitor progress. AI is not intended to replace marketers or salespeople. AI and automation are meant to enhance what we already do. These tools should give us improved ROI and a deeper insight into our customers and potential customers.


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Nancy Harhut

Chief Creative Officer, HBT Marketing

Hbtmktg.com
Nancy’s LinkedIn

In 2019 we'll see data scientists really work hand in hand with behavioral scientists. Or at least in close proximity!

Marketers have so much data at our disposal. And it reveals many useful things, like who to talk to, where to find them, what to say and when to say it. But rely on that alone, and you'll come up short. Because how that message is served up -- how it's phrased and framed -- can make all the difference.

And behavioral science provides the insights to make that difference. Tapping into behavioral science, we can craft messages that are more likely to be noticed and responded to. Messages designed to appeal to the subconscious brain where a whopping 95% of decisions are actually made.

So 2019 will be the year marketers take it up a notch. We won't just get the right message to the right person at the right time -- we'll also do it in the right way.


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Jason Quey

Founder, Growth Ramp

Growthramp.io
Jason’s LinkedIn

My prediction is more and more non-traditional startups will embrace the growth marketing prioritization process.

For those unfamiliar with this process, after creating a list of ideas, you score each idea on a scale of 1-10 on impact, the confidence of success, and effort to run the test.

Because this is a prioritization method, it can be applied to any field. For example, you can apply it broadly to all content marketing, or more specifically to prioritizing your promotion channels, which you can get the nitty gritty details on how to do that here.


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Debra Jason

Copywriter, Speaker, The Write Direction

WriteDirection.com
Debra’s LinkedIn

In "Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 35," Larry D. Rosen et al reported that heavy tech use is associated with depression, anxiety, health problems, academic challenges, and relationship issues.

That said, my prediction for 2019 is that, to avoid the depression and anxiety associated with heavy teach use, the return of the human connection is vital to marketing. While technology may make certain aspects of our lives easier, they do not replace the human touch.

Devices like smartphones and tablets may provide easy access to information. However, none of them can take the place of good ‘ol fashioned human interaction – face-to-face, smile-to-smile, handshake to handshake or even a voice (not a text) on the other end of a phone that says “So good to talk to you.”

With technology constantly expanding, do you feel more connected or disconnected to those around you? And, do you think marketing in 2019 will see an increase in the “human connection?” I certainly hope so.


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Priscilla McKinney

President, Little Bird Marketing

Littlebirdmarketing.com

I think one of the biggest players in 2019 will be video. We've watched as it has risen in popularity over the last few years, but I think in 2019 it will become more of a mainstay in content marketing. People like visual content - plain and simple - and I think we’ve finally caught on to it. Look to see marketing strategies reflect this moving forward.


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James Reynolds

Head Sherpa, SEO Sherpa

Seosherpa.com
James LinkedIn

The role of the headline will become (even more) important for content marketers.

Here’s why:

Google’s Rank Brain algorithm was HUGE this year. And I expect it to be even more important in 2019. Rank Brain measures how users interact with search results. It promotes search results that get clicked on more often and demotes those that don’t.

Google is also populating search engine results pages with more and more search features like search ads, shopping ads, local pack results, rich answers and a myriad of featured snippets.

The result?

Traditional organic listings are being given less and less visibility.

To win organic traffic in 2019, content marketers must develop their craft in headline writing.

With better headlines, their search engine snippets can stand out amongst all the visual noise, they can win more eyeballs and clicks, and in turn, elevate their rankings too.


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Chuck Hester

Partner, ChuckHester.com

Chuckhester.com
Chuck’s LinkedIn

While 2019 will continue to see the rise of marketing automation, brands that will win are those that emphasize loyalty and relationships over tech.

The relationships they build with customers - whether they are "influencers" or not - will be key to their success. By listening to the customer and what they want, as opposed to selling them something they believe they want, they will have a deeper market penetration in the long term.

The use of video on LinkedIn will continue to rise, and those who take advantage of this "new form of content marketing on this platform will reach a larger audience and increase their brand equity.


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Jonathan Kranz

Principal, Kranz Communications

Kranzcom.com

I think the confluence of content overkill (waaaay too much stuff to too many people too often) and an economy showing signs of deceleration will put pressure on us to favor quality over quantity: LESS content altogether, but of HIGHER quality (i.e., of much greater intrinsic interest to our audiences). There will be pain, but I think all of us will benefit from a more discriminatory approach to content creation.


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Josh Haynam

Founder, Interact

Tryinteract.com

2019 will be the year of empathy in marketing. What I mean is the focus will shift from “how do we sell this product?” To “how do we better understand the needs of our customers so we can serve them with our products and services?” We’ll see a fundamental shift in the way marketers think about the clients we’re trying to reach, and the ability to better understand your customers will become a huge differentiator.


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Rebecca Lieb

Co-Founder & Analyst, Kaleido Insights

KaleidoInsights.com
Rebecca’s LinkedIn

Automated content. This is the topic of my most recent research and it's about to get very big, not just in marketing where AI and other technologies will go far to help create and generate ultra relevant and personalized content, but also in other areas of business. HR, business intelligence, legal, media and other areas will all be impacted by machines that can read, write and even create multimedia content such as images and video at scale.


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Reuben Swartz

Founder, Mimiran & Chief Nerd, Sales for Nerds

Mimiran.com
Reuben’s LinkedIn

  1. Companies that say "I don't invest in my website, I get all my business from referrals" will fall further behind those who invest in both online presence and real-world relationships. They are two sides of the same coin, and you need to deal with both.

  2. Better B2B revenue attribution will give marketers more effective, efficient tools to actually bring in revenue, instead of optimizing proxies like leads or newsletter signups. This will be a game changer for organizations that take advantage, helping them funnel marketing investment into the most productive efforts.

  3. The competition for attention will be even fiercer, so companies should make their marketing efforts a good investment of prospects' time-- teaching, helping, entertaining. "Authentic" marketing helps, if it's real and not just a gimmick dressed up to look authentic.


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Matthew Pollard

Founder, Rapid Growth Coach, LLC

MatthewPollard.com
Matthew’s LinkedIn

Cold callers will continue to see diminishing returns for their hard work, while salespeople who ONLY focus on social selling will see an even higher decline.

Tomorrow's high performers will embrace a holistic approach to sales acquisition and understand that being everything to everyone is not the answer.

We will also see a surge of introverted sales high performers as they discover that the, so called, 'gift of gab' is not a barrier to entry and that, armed with a sales process, they can beat their extroverted counterparts HANDS DOWN!


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Evan Schmitt

Voice Actor, Evan Schmitt | Voice Actor

Evanschmitt.com
Evan’s Twitter

Brands will get more precise with their advertising and targeting. The smarter brands will continue to gain market share over the brands that don’t adapt and innovate.


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John Andrews

CEO, Photofy

Photofy.com
John’s LinkedIn

In 2019, marketer's are going to be seeking solutions for digital ad saturation as response rates fall and costs rise to reach quality audiences. At Photofy, we believe collaborative content created and shared by employees, customers and partners is one solution to achieving content scale and engagement on a localized level that augments digital advertising approaches.


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Jeremiah Smith

CEO, SimpleTiger LLC

Simpletiger.com
Jeremiah’s Twitter

In regards to SEO and ranking well in Google; user engagement metrics are going to continue to be more important than links as a ranking factor.

SEMrush published a comprehensive report this past year showing the importance of user engagement metrics like "dwell time", bounce rate, page views, click interactions, etc. vs qualitative, relevant inbound links as a ranking factor for the first time in Google algorithmic history. This was sensational information that largely went unnoticed in the SEO community until further AI improvements to the core ranking algorithm at Google started hurting the rankings of sites which have stood in place for years prior.

Brian Dean even showed the recent value of a single piece of content without any inbound links that nails the searcher's intent for a given keyword set perfectly which further substantiates that Google is using a higher method of deducing value for a page likely due to the engagement from users that page receives. Brian refers to the process of building these pieces of content as the Skyscraper 3.0 Technique.

Artificial intelligence insofar as Google is using will continue to measure the value of pieces of content to the end-user thereby reducing its dependency on old-fashioned metrics we were used to in the realm of SEO.


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John Jantsch

Founder, Duct Tape Marketing

Ducttapemarketing.com

I believe Google's attempts at a social network will finally take hold although somewhat accidentally - Google My Business will become Google social network for local businesses with the addition of CRM like functions and the ability of customers to keep up with a business via Google My Business networks.


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Alicia Lawrence

Social Media & Content Marketing Consultant, WebFX

Webfx.com
Alicia’s LinkedIn

  1. Push to optimize for Amazon: With nearly half of initial product searches happening on Amazon, e-commerce is shifting to large all-inclusive ways to shop, such as Amazon, Walmart and Google Shopping.

  2. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube ads explode: As social networks lower organic reach, companies will shift their budgets to paid. Analytics provided through the ‘pixel’ will revolutionize reporting and provide better data-driven decisions. In addition, content assets will be backed by paid ads vs. pitching. Higher competition for ads means costs will go up.

  3. Integration of AI into reporting and prediction tools: In 2019, we’ll see a bigger push to integrate AI to create better insights. WebFX already integrated Google AI and IMB Watson to create several proprietary tools that predict and analyze content and SEO campaigns.


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Azriel Ratz

King of FB Ads, Ratz Pack Media

RatzPackMedia.com
Azriel’s LinkedIn

Over 2019, businesses will use stories and shorter length videos to their advantage.

The stories format allows businesses to create deeper more authentic relationships with their customers.

Overall, businesses will begin to shift to shorter videos to grab people's attention and get them to take action.


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Trevor Crane

11X Bestselling Author & Founder, Epic Author Publishing

Trevorcrane.com
Trevor’s LinkedIn

What’s going to happen in the future?

There is no question: RISE or be INVISIBLE.

Mark my words… you will see this in EVERY profession. And in EVERY industry.

Some people (and businesses) will RISE above the noise.

And everyone else?

They will become insignificant and be ignored as if there were INVISIBLE.

What will make the difference?

You (and businesses in general) will either CREATE CONSISTENT COMPELLING CONTENT… or, go out-of-business.

People who do not grasp this FACT, and do whatever-it-takes to establish their “personal brand” and grow an audience… will become as extinct as the dinosaurs.

What’s the secret to become “in-demand?” Versus being “invisible?”

Three things:

ATTENTION! ATTRACTION! ACTION!

Here’s this advice in a “question” format, so you can see how it applies to you:

1 - ATTENTION

Does your “content” and your “messaging” (in other words, your business and your brand) get your “ideal client’s” ATTENTION?

(Most people don’t know you. You’re biggest challenge is OBSCURITY. If you don’t STAND-OUT, you’re invisible. That means, you do not exist to most of the world.)

2 - ATTRACTION

Does your message ATTRACT your “ideal clients?”

(Meaning do they “care” about what you share?)

3 - ACTION

Do you have a clear Call To ACTION in your messaging?

(A confused mind, says “no” and does “nothing.” It’s imperative that you have a clear understanding about, “what you want the to do NEXT.” If you don’t know, how in the hell will they know what to do?)

Tips to make sure you are “in-demand” vs. “invisible:

TIP #1: Become an author (not later, NOW)

TIP #2: Start a podcast (discover your VOICE)

TIP #3: Have a “Profitable Path” to monetize your mission.

Or…

You’ll go BROKE wasting your time, and confusing your audience.

In closing… You need to become an Epic Storyteller. Become a marketer who helps people, and a leader who makes a difference with their message.

Or?

Join the dinosaurs and hope you look good “stuffed” and “preserved” in a museum.

Join the dinosaurs.

Yes. I’m saying you you have to do something MASSIVELY different, or you-will-be-left-behind.

Take all the crap that used-to-work… and stuff it into a museum.

This is your year to RISE!


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Sergey Aliokhin

Marketing Manager, Ahrefs Pte Ltd

Ahrefs.com
Sergey’s LinkedIn

I think that marketing will become more subjective than objective in 2019. To put it simply, such things as personalization, individual approach will play a key role in overall marketing strategy. The era of "cold" emails will end and each customer will start receiving super-personalized messages. However, it is gonna be harder to "impress" with your email pitch some gurus of marketing (imho).

What's more important, the mindset of marketers should change. No more efforts to persuade customers in the uniqueness of your service because your service is nothing without the customers.


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Ashley Lipman

Content marketing specialist, AccuWebHosting

Accuwebhosting.com

  1. Interactive Emails are Effective- The modern consumer wants to be entertained, which is why using an interactive email is a great idea. Many companies are using the power of memes and videos to entertain their email recipients.

  2. GDPR-Friendly Emails- Gathering and documenting consent from email recipients is at the heart of this piece of legislation. This is why you will need to get crafty when trying to get this consent.

  3. Real-Time Email Personalization - When consumers visit your business website, you want an email sent out to them immediately to let them know you care about obtaining their business. The best way to do this is by using real-time email personalization software.

  4. Avoid Buying an Email List - Most of the larger email service providers don’t like when businesses use these types of lists. Also, the people on these lists will have zero ideas who you are and why you are emailing them. Building your own email list from scratch may take time, but it is well worth it. You can find bulk email verification services and tools online. Once you have this information, you should have no problem optimizing the list of existing email addresses you have.

  5. Make Sure Your Emails are Personal and Professional - In the world of small business, portraying the right image is a crucial component of having success. This is why you need to make sure that the emails you are sending to consumers are professional looking and personal. The opening line of your email needs to contain the name of the person you are sending it too. Making a person feel like they are getting a personalized email rather than a template can go a long way.


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David MacLaren

Founder & CEO, MediaValet

Mediavalet.com
David’s LinkedIn

In 2019, I believe marketing teams will become instrumental to customer success, working to enhance customer experiences, and boost adoption and retention.

Marketing will be the key to providing value to the customer across their entire lifecycle, not just in the acquisition stage. Customer experience is expected to overtake price and product as a key differentiator by 2020, so organizations need to improve their customer success practices now if they hope to remain competitive. I’m excited to see marketing spearhead this initiative.


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Taylor Perras

Community Manager, Business.com

Business.com
Taylor’s LinkedIn

Our focus has been gathering user feedback to improve the community experience on Business.com. Nothing is more telling than the voice of the customer (not even Google Analytics). That's why my prediction for 2019 is we'll see continued drastic growth in the use of chatbots on websites to gather customer thoughts and resolve customer problems immediately. As chatbots become more and more 'humanized' like their counterparts Alexa and Google Home, it will be impossible to tell if you're having a natural conversation with a helpful customer service rep or witty robot.


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Anna Hrach

Strategist, Convince & Convert

Convinceandconvert.com
Anna’s LinkedIn

I think 2019 is going to be the year of focusing on organizational change. It's really hard to learn from our mistakes and not fall back into the same old habits when organizations are standing in one place. We can develop as many processes and procedures and to-do lists and roadmaps as we want, but the entire organizational structure has to be on board and rally in order for all of our big ideas to work. We all have to be moving in the same direction, at the same time, to make marketing truly effective.


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John Paul Aguiar

Entrepreneur | Professional Blogger | Social Media Marketing Consultant | Twitter Marketing Specialist

JohnPaulAguiar.com
John’s LinkedIn

My first prediction is about influencer marketing and how it WILL change in 2019.

We are quickly seeing a move from large and random influencers to a small and real influencer base.

People that actually use a product or service, that share ongoing reviews and usage of said product or service.

Influencers that work side by side with said brand to share their review, participate in content creation and ads.

Second, with Alexa and Siri usage growing and becoming mainstream....Voice marketing and search will grow at a faster pace and I see more brands finding creative ways to participate.

Finally I think 2019 will be the year of creativity.

2018 was about being you and being more personal in your marketing.

In 2019 that will continue but now that everyone does that, the way to really stand out will be to bring creativity to your branding, marketing, and the content you create.


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Douglas Burdett

Host of The Marketing Book Podcast, Artillery LLC

Douglas LinkedIn

In 2019 everyone will have their own flying car, entire meals will come in pill form, and the Earth will be run by damn dirty apes.

Oh wait, those were Austin Powers’ predictions. But those will also probably happen in 2019.

In 2019 a small but growing number of marketers will come to be perceived by their management and peers as making a more direct contribution to revenue rather than as arts and crafts party planners who work in the “make it pretty” department.


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Andrea Fryrear

President and Lead Trainer, The Agile Sherpa

Agilesherpas.com
Andrea’s LinkedIn

I can sum up my 2019 prediction with one word: process. More and more teams are figuring out that it’s not their ideas, or their strategy, or their product that’s holding them back, it’s their process.

If you can create a more effective system for handling work, then every single piece of work that flows through that system benefits. Adopting a more Agile process is an amazing way to exponentially improve all kinds of work, from standard keep the lights on stuff to the most crucial strategy projects.


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Jason Pampell

Founder, Hire Influence

Hireinfluence.com
Jason’s LinkedIn

Brands will contract more long-term partnerships with influencers that feel more genuine instead of one-off campaigns. This goes hand-in-hand with the focus from both brands and influencers to remain authentic and real with audiences; influencers will continue to work only with brands that align with their values and will push to have some creative control over content to assure it’s created with their audience in mind.

We will likely see brands continue to heavily pursue micro-influencers for their ability to carry a more authentic message, be less commercial in their presence and extend brand influencer networks and campaigns at a great value. We should also expect a bigger push from brands on data markers for potential influencers (demographics, engagement rate, view rates, etc.) to determine partnership rates.


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Pamela Muldoon

Campaign & Content Strategist, Pedowitz Group

Pedowitzgroup.com
Pamela’s LinkedIn

Getting back to the basics to ensure a better customer experience. This past year I worked with a lot of B2B clients that still struggle with doing the foundation work of developing strong buyer personas and defining their customer journey. Yet these same companies will say they want to improve their customer experience. To move forward in 2019 means taking a step back. Companies will need to work on these foundational elements if they want to improve all areas of of their content marketing efforts.


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Larry Kim

CEO, MobileMonkey

mobilemonkey.com
Larry’s LinkedIn

Organic reach on Facebook will continue to decline and posts from publisher pages will be suppressed, as much as 5x. 

Marketers will still find success on growing their business on Facebook, via Messenger Marketing. 

I personally think that there's a golden era for every channel, and we're currently in the golden age of Facebook Messenger. 

We will begin to realize the hidden gem of Facebook Messenger marketing 

  • Facebook messenger delivers open rates as high as 80%, with a 20% average click rate. 

  • Messenger marketing can dramatically reduce your marketing costs from $150 to $5 per lead. 

If you automate your Messenger marketing using tools like MobileMonkey, for example, you can blast all your contacts directly on Facebook Messenger. Marketers wouldn’t need to worry much about the News Feed filters.


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David Reimherr

Founder & CEO, Magnificent Marketing

Magnificent.com
David’s LinkedIn

I predict that you will see more and more videos (short & long form videos) from employees of larger and smaller companies as the movement towards humanizing your brand continues. The need for authenticity and creating relationships with your audiences is at an all time high and this starts with having faces and voices behind the logos. I also predict that growth of podcasts (audio & video podcasts) will continue as companies and brands continue to find creative ways to market themselves, speak to, and serve their audiences in deeper and deeper ways.

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